|Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
It’s been quite a journey for the Cochran family since February 2013 when we began this step by step walk with God towards Chicagoland. Every step has been a step of faith, boldness, and faithful obedience to seeing God’s glory made visible through our family.
This winter doesn’t seem as long and as hard as last year’s. The kids have enjoyed getting out into the snowy world and playing more this year than last. Earlier this week, I ventured out with them and got in an epic snowball fight at our apartment complex. Chloe is skilled at deftly sneaking up behind you and dropping handfuls of snow down your back: Asher and I can attest.
Kendall enjoys working at Chickfila, volunteering in the children’s ministry, and serving with the women’s ministry at Redeemer. When she has free time she loves doing crafts with the kids and exploring livable options in the Libertyville area.
I enjoy my work and ministry at Starbucks. Every shift is a new gospel conversation and display of visibly enacting the gospel through service. Likewise, the Lord supplies time to study and write, in preparation for further studies and gospel ministry in Libertyville.
Pray that the Lord would continue to train and equip our family for gospel ministry as we make the next steps to planting in Libertyville.
God has placed a burden within my soul to see a gospel-centered church planted in Libertyville, Illinois. During the last four months, I have prayed in solitude, with my family, and with my church family to test the veracity of this burden. I find my thoughts and waking moments gravitating to what a church plant might look like in this community and many nights I wake up in the early morning hours praying for the city. Meanwhile, I’ve taken numerous, often multiple trips a week, to the Libertyville area for meetings, prayer walks, study times, and scouting missions to understand the culture and the need of this pivotal community in Lake County, Illinois.
During this time, the Lord continues to add more contacts that would love to play a part in prayer, partnership, or participation in a Libertyville church plant. All of this is truly encouraging and affirming for us as we unswervingly continue down this path.
In addition to this, the Lord appears to be opening up an opportunity for me to study a Ph.D. at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). On Friday, February 20th I received a phone call informing me of my acceptance into their Ph.D. program. This is exciting because it poses both new opportunities in present ministry and future ministry.
One of my visions for the Libertyville church plant is for the church to be a sending center for seminarians at TEDS who have a likeminded vision for ministry. Having a terminal degree would be very helpful in training and leading these men. Furthermore, TEDS is in close proximity to Libertyville. As I study at TEDS, I will have the opportunity to meet plenty of students that attend both the college, Trinity International University, and the seminary, TEDS, and offer them a church home to plug into and serve.
Though we do not know the financial feasibility of attending TEDS (scholarships haven’t been awarded yet), I am truly interested in how the Lord might use this to grow his church in Libertyville.
Our current plan is to relocate our lives to Libertyville this Summer after our children let out of school. Please pray for us as we look for affordable living in or very near to Libertyville.
Praise God for his provision of part-time employment.
As you know, Kendall and I are both working part-time. We know that our return to part-time work will not return void. I’ve had numerous opportunities to share the gospel with my co-workers and provide counsel. Kendall, likewise has seen similar fruit. The hospitality industry is a wonderful place to exercise the humility and service necessary in ministry. This is probably why the two of us have always gravitated to this kind of work.
I walk to work most days from our apartment so that Kendall has the van to drop off and pick up the kids from school. It’s a half-mile walk in the cold temperature and snow. Yet, it passes quickly as its another opportunity to pray and prepare my mind and heart for how I might be used to serve the Lord there.
At the same time, sufficient family provision is not available in this kind of work long-term. Please pray for us as we have urgent need for me to find work that will sufficiently provide for our family as we faithfully take the next steps to planting in Libertyville. I’ve been pursuing full-time and contractual options to provide for our family until I can fully give my attention to the Libertyville church plant.
Pray that the Lord will provide partners with both churches and individuals, so we may continue forward with Church Planting.
Here’s a brief outline of our need:
- Right now we have a few families committed to giving $350 a month.
- I currently serve in the office at Redeemer as the pastoral assistant for 8-12 hours a week. Kendall does childcare for a family friend’s child on Thursdays and Wednesdays and babysits for the Naperville Church Plants core group. We both work 20-25 hours a week. Altogether that nets maybe $1500 a month.
- Thus, our need is approximately $2150 per month to meet our budget.
- Right now the earliest I could partner with NAMB to be a resident is June 2015. Redeemer let me know recently that they are not in a position to send me and sponsor a church plant in 2015, though they feel confident about doing so in 2016. I’m entertaining the possibility of partnering with other SBC sponsor churches so that I might be an apprentice in 2015 still, but I’m cautiously proceeding down this path. Redeemer has been such a wonderful and supportive church home that I’m inclined to wait until 2016 for their sponsorship. Right now we’re looking to outside funding through ministry partners and vocational work to provide while we carry forward the plans of church planting in Libertyville.
If the Lord is stirring you to partner with us, you may do so through the North American Mission Board.
All funding may be securely given through the North American Mission Board. Gifts may be given through Electronic Funds Transfer, or AutoPay with your Debit or Credit Card. To set up automatic giving on-line go to our NAMB Webpage, http://msc.kintera.org/cochranfamily2005.
If you wish to mail in an Electronic Funds Transfer request, you may do so. Fill out the form below and mail it to the address for NAMB below. When you fill out the form indicate my name JOEY COCHRAN and Account 10138 on the form.
EFT Request Form.
Here is a helpful document about giving online with the North American Mission Board.
Q&A Sheet for Partnering with NAMB Missionaries.
If you wish to send a monthly check, you may still do so. Please be sure to memo JOEY COCHRAN ACCT 10138 on your check.
Mail your check to:
Attention: Accounting – MSC
PO Box 116543
Atlanta, Georgia 30368-6543
The Cochran Family